A few months ago, I was browsing through one of The Leprosy Mission’s reasonably priced catalogues hoping to find a birthday present for my sister. I easily chose something for her that she would love.
In their catalogues, in addition to beautiful craft items and outstanding greeting cards, The Leprosy Mission also suggests ways in which customers may like to help a leprosy-affected person by donating something they desperately need. There are items such as a robust pair of sandals designed to enable feet badly damaged by leprosy to be supported and protected (costing only £10 GBP), or goats they can breed and sell the milk in order to make a living. There is, in fact, a wide range of much-needed gifts to help people who are victims of this cruel disease.
Leprosy-affected people are outcasts from society and are barely managing to survive. One suggested donation to help them grabbed my attention, but there was no way I could afford it. It was a donkey.
The donkey would provide transport and also enable a leprosy-affected family to farm their tiny plot of land. I was fighting back the tears as I read about how these families suffer. It was a struggle for me, but the Lord won. As I made the phone call to order my sister’s birthday present, I heard myself paying to donate a donkey too!
Then this happened…
Two or three days after I had placed my order, our son, who helps his elderly disabled parents as much as he can, was busy emptying the tumble dryer in the garage for us and bringing items into the house in a laundry basket for me to sort. Suddenly, to our amazement, a couple of crisp new £5 notes fell out of the washing. Wow! Wherever did they come from?!
Another laundry basket came into the house. More £5 notes fell out of the washing – from T-shirts and a fitted sheet – and then more, and still more… until we had £50 in total – all in crisp new fivers!
It was a mystery to us all
No one, apart from our son, had been into the garage to attend to the washing. The awesome thing is that it’s rare for us to have even one fiver in the house. We don’t get fivers at ATM machines, or at Cashback in our large grocery stores. There were no garments with pockets in any of that washing, so nobody could have left money in a pocket – and in any case, as I’ve said, not one of us had a fiver.
Four people witnessed this surreal incident taking place: my husband, our son, our lovely Polish care-giver, and me. We could hardly believe our eyes and thought we were dreaming. Our care-giver, with a twinkle in her eye, asked if she could borrow our tumbler!
How much was my donation to The Leprosy Mission for a donkey to help a struggling leprosy-affected family? It was exactly £50!!!
Another awesome thing…
I love to give, and had asked the Lord to somehow increase my income to enable me to give more to His work. Another astonishing thing is happening to me now. Rather than bank online, I have to use telephone banking because of my Dyscalculia problem. I am astonished sometimes when the adviser reads my balance and recent transactions over the phone; there is often more money in my modest account than there ‘should’ be. We simply cannot out give God! It’s a wonderful place to be – out on a limb with Jesus – looking only unto Him.
By the way, if it’s on my heart to give to the Lord, I always remind myself that it was not the enemy who gave me that idea!
God is faithful
God has promised that He will supply all our needs, and also that He will not fail us. He wants us to ask Him for what we need, and He even explains why we sometimes fail to receive from Him. James gives two reasons for this:
How God views our giving
In the Bible we read that while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, He saw people throwing money into the Temple treasury. “Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44
I, personally, find the above Scripture very encouraging because it makes clear that God views our giving to His work in terms of what we keep back for ourselves, rather than the actual amount we give.
Jesus also said:
Note from So Greatly Loved
The Leprosy Mission states that it is “a Christian international development charity, transforming and empowering the lives of people affected by leprosy. As well as providing opportunities for early diagnosis and treatment, we offer gifts of healthcare, rehabilitation, education, vocational training, housing, sanitation and a fresh water supply.
That’s why our Gifts for Life are specifically chosen to meet all a person’s needs. They go beyond medical care to restore dignity, hope and independence to lives affected by this cruel disease.”
What really happened to our washing?
There is no way, naturally speaking, that even a single £5 note could have found its way into our washing… but £50 in fivers?! Well, there is absolutely no way that could have happened – unless by a miracle. The only conclusion I can arrive at, therefore, is that our Heavenly Father blessed me for giving what was beyond my means, in order to assure me that He is faithful… that He is no man’s debtor… and that we can never out give Him. But to me the most precious thought of all, is that whatever we do to help another who is in need, we are doing for Jesus.